Childre Nissan Compares 2014 Nissan Altima VS 2014 Volkswagen Passat Near Dublin, GA

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2014 Nissan Altima

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2014 Volkswagen Passat

Safety Comparison

The Altima Sedan has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Passat doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Altima Sedan SV/SL’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Passat doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Altima Sedan SV/SL’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Passat doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Altima Sedan SV/SL’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Passat doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Altima Sedan and the Passat have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

Altima Sedan




5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

216 lbs.

218 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

52/418 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Altima Sedan is safer than the Volkswagen Passat:

Altima Sedan


Front Seat


4 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Movement

1.4 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

184 G’s

221 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

58 G’s

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

44 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 77 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Altima Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Altima Sedan’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Passat TDI’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Passat’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 19th in reliability. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 28th.

Engine Comparison

The Altima Sedan has more powerful engines than the Passat:


Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

182 HP

Altima Sedan V6

270 HP

Passat 2.5L 2.5 DOHC 5 cyl.

170 HP

Passat 1.8T 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

170 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima Sedan 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the Passat 2.5L (automatics tested):

Altima Sedan


Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

12.5 sec

15.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.8 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

83.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Altima Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Passat:

Altima Sedan


2.5 4 cyl./CVT

27 city/38 hwy

24 city/34 hwy

1.8 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


22 city/31 hwy

2.5 5 cyl./Auto

3.5 V6/CVT

22 city/31 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima Sedan uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Passat V6 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Altima Sedan stops shorter than the Passat:

Altima Sedan


70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Altima Sedan has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Passat doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Altima Sedan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Passat doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima Sedan is .1 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Passat.

The Altima Sedan 2.5 SL handles at .85 G’s, while the Passat SEL pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Altima Sedan 3.5 SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Passat SE (27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Altima Sedan V6 has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount and conventional liquid-filled engine mounts (standard liquid front mount on other versions of the Altima Sedan). A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Passat uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Altima Sedan 2.5 SV is quieter than the Passat SEL:

Altima Sedan


At idle

38 dB

40 dB


75 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima Sedan has 1.7 inches more front headroom and 2.6 inches more front legroom than the Passat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Altima Sedan easier. The Altima Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.9 inches, while the Passat’s liftover is 28.2 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

If the front windows are left down on the Altima Sedan the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Passat can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Altima Sedan’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Passat’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Altima Sedan’s standard steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The Passat’s standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.

Optional NissanConnect for the Altima Sedan (not available 2.5 Base) allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Passat doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

With optional voice command, the Altima Sedan offers the driver hands free control of the radio, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Passat doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Altima Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Altima Sedan will retain 45.77% to 55.2% of its original price after five years, while the Passat only retains 39.38% to 58.11%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Passat because it costs $14 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Altima Sedan than the Passat, including $349 less for a water pump, $39 less for front brake pads, $60 less for fuel injection, $210 less for a fuel pump, $177 less for front struts and $145 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Altima Sedan will be $1201 to $6264 less than for the Volkswagen Passat.

Recommendations Comparison

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its November 2012 issue and they ranked the Nissan Altima Sedan 2.5 SV higher than the Volkswagen Passat SE.

The Nissan Altima outsold the Volkswagen Passat by almost three to one during the 2013 model year.

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